Page 5 of Shoshana in Asia Travel Blog Posts


Africa » Botswana » South-East June 2nd 2012

I saw an osprey and a bald eagle among other birds on my drive to the airport. A pleasantly uneventful flight from Portland to JFK, flying in over the still-weird absence of the World Trade Center towers, which always looked so out of scale and out of place. I watched from my grandparents' apartment as they went up; now they're gone, and with them my college friend Jonathan. Certainly this trip makes me think of friends who have died, of AIDS or otherwise. I was unable to find the theoretical free wireless for JetBlue customers at JFK, so I read instead. I finished Tinderbox yesterday afternoon. I wanted to read it before the seminar and didn't want to schlepp a hardback to another continent. From home to just before landing I read Agent to the Stars, ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland May 31st 2012

Here's the abstract of the seminar I'm attending: Through its development as an independent nation over the past 45 years, Botswana has been a leader among African nations in designing effective and thoughtful public health policy. Proactive efforts by the government, particularly the Ministry of Health to provide pioneering treatments, research, and education to its people is inspirational and sets the country apart as a model of success in the public health realm. However, in the face of these efforts lie great challenges. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has hit Botswana hard, and this seminar will look at how the scourge has had devastating effects on every corner of society. Aside from HIV/AIDS, which is arguably Botswana’s most pressing public health threat, other dimensions of the public health story will be explored including women’s health issues, healthcare delivery ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland May 27th 2012

I really enjoy finding the right tool for the job, and getting ready for a trip provides some wonderful opportunities to obsess about gear. Here's what I'll test on this trip. A Jansport Odyssey 39 backpack. the main compartments look like they'll provide a better configuration for my gear. The 39-liter capacity is generous enough while still fitting in carry-on spaces on planes. Compression straps help hold the load steady. It has a light internal frame and is short enough for my torso. Lots of little pockets and places to clip cups, solar chargers, and sandals. Purchased at REI with holiday gift cards from my family. Thanks, family! A Pacsafe Metrosafe 200 Shoulder Bag. Also from REI, but purchased with my dividend. Thanks, REI. If you've read my travel blogs in the past, you know I ... read more
Pacsafe shoulder bag
Inflatable foot rest
Luggage lock

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland May 21st 2012

I'll be heading to Africa next week. I've been three times before--once to Egypt for a week or so with a tour group from Israel, once to Egypt for a day, and once to Tunisia for a day. I've never been to non-Mediterranean Africa, and I've never been to the Southern hemisphere. I'll be attending a seminar on public health in Botswana. The emphasis is on HIV/AIDS and public policy, but other topics tentatively include adolescent substance use and women's health rights. It should be engrossing. And I do hope to see some birds. It's winter in Botswana, but I'm as interested in round-the-year nuisance birds like crows as in anything else, so I should have a good time.... read more

Asia » South Korea » Incheon February 25th 2011

Dear Becca, Thinking of you in the airport.... read more
Just say No
Scary public art
Kraze or Kraz-e?

Asia » South Korea » Incheon February 25th 2011

A map pin in South Korea, that is. This is my first visit. After an easy but exhaust- and grit-filled tuk-tuk ride to the airport in Phnom Penh, I was able to check in immediately and go upstairs to the comfy chairs. Those of you aware of my craving for chocolate last night should know that I got neither the chocolate linga (lingam) nor the chocolates shaped like the big stone faces from the Angkor Wat temple area. Instead I had a small, lackluster muffin that was more or less sufficient to hold me until Seattle. The flight to Seoul was fine, though I didn't sleep much, or well. Breakfast was either a nasty omelette with grey-green overcooked broccoli, which I declined, or a disposable plastic tub (similar to the ones tofu comes in), heated, full ... read more
Yonggungsa temple
Korean Buddha
Interior

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 24th 2011

Up all night attending to Blackboard problems. Blackboard is a jealous creature and always knows when I'm showing another country's electrons a good time. A pre-flight nap is still on today's agenda, but I'm having no luck so far. I'm packed other than the clothes I'm wearing, which I'll swap for fresh before I leave. Okay, internet searching has revealed that the bird that is everywhere, everywhere, except in my inadequate bird guide is Pycnonotus goiavier, or Yellow-vented bulbul. Having identified it by name, I find it in the book only in reference to another bird (one that's pictured, not described). The only bird I'm seeing more is Eurasian tree sparrows. A strange omission. Tell your bird watching friends that Cambodia needs a better field guide. The trip home begins at ab... read more
Anti-trafficking sign on tuk-tuk
Vaccination  billboard
Anti-interpersonal violence billboard

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 23rd 2011

Up at 6:00, the last two mangoes taken care of, and at 8:00 out with Sitha from SADP to go to the Mat Shop. My spouse and other relatives, please note: I declined to ride on her motorbike with no helmet and insisted on a tuk-tuk instead. I've been a passenger on motorcycles twice; the first time it tipped over and the second, it tipped over. Conclusion: I tip over motorcycles when I am a passenger. Collateral reasoning: I will be paying for all the information I stuffed into my brain until I'm old. I want to be alive to see that happen. I'm sure Sitha is a very proficient driver, but I don't want to travel in Phnom Penh on a 2-wheeled conveyance, so a tuk-tuk it was. We had fun at the Mat Shop, ... read more
Transacting the sale
The Mat Shop (detail)
Monument Books

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 22nd 2011

Up at 5:00, out at 6:40, breakfast near C.'s guesthouse at 7:00. At 8:00 we went out to Sovann Komar orphanage. C. gave me a quick tour of the main building. Since my appointment with the director wasn't until later, I took a walk. The orphanage is not a collection of children and adult care providers; instead, young married couples were hired and asked to make a 20-year commitment. They live in houses on the grounds, and several children live in each family. It's less like a boarding school and more like a neighborhood block. You'll notice I have no photos with people in them--this is for the children's and families' privacy. I had a pleasant conversation with the director and I feel very positive about the work they're doing and the internship possibilities for my ... read more
Wastewater reclamation system
Shoes outside a classroom
On Tonle Sap River

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 21st 2011

I worked very hard today so I'm eating a full dinner: Fresh spring rolls, caramelized pork and pomelo salad with soy ginger dressing, fruit salad, and chai. I'll break the $10 barrier! I went to sleep early last night with the plan to get 9 hours' sleep, then get up at 5:00 AM and go over my materials for the psychological assessment talk at Royal University of Phnom Penh. This was a bit tricky since I still hadn't heard what topic they wanted me to teach. At about 6:00 ate two of the absolutely exquisite mangoes I received yesterday plus a brioche I'd cleverly bought the night before. My guesthouse serves breakfast at 7:30 and so far I've only been there once by that time. I walked to the closest main road and caught a tuk-tuk ... read more
caramelized pork and pomelo salad
RUPP psychology office
frangipani




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